Pauper: an Overview

Hey, and welcome to Pauper Life, our new blog on all things Pauper.  So, your first question may be, what is pauper?  Pauper is a format for Magic: the Gathering in which only cards printed at common rarity are legal.  Now, if you don't know what Magic is, go check out soe articles and come back, because it's far too complicated to explain in this overview, but for those who play, pauper starts as a budget format.  With the most expensive decks at just under $100, and most running $20-$40, it is a low commitment format to enter with cards that never diminish in value like standard.  Once you enter, though, you find a very competitive format where brewing is only limited to your ability to find 20+ year old commons.

So first, let's dispel a myth.  Pauper is not a weak format.  With several decks that mirror legacy decks such as burn and mono-blue delver, you quickly find that Wizards has printed a lot of their best cards at common, from counterspell to the best cantrips and deck control in all of magic.  

So why play pauper?  First off, you can build a dozen decks in pauper (including every tier 1 deck) for less than a single tier 1 modern deck.  Second, you can switch between deck easily to find what you like.  Every archetype is viable in pauper, and the current meta is very forgiving for homebrews.  The lack of hard wraths and degenerate combos means you can play any speed deck you want, and everything from burn and goblins through hard control and turbo-fog has had a chance to shine.

Also, as an eternal format, it is a brewer's dream.  Their are several infinite combos and underrepresented tribes in pauper that have potential.  With such low cost to build a deck, their is a lot less pressure for your deck to be perfect out the gate.  One or Two tickets online lets you build most home-brews, so feel free to build a deck just to try it, and if it doesn't work, just take your losses and try again.

Finally, it is a format where lifegain is prevenlent, making long games more possible and boardbuilding is much more rewarded.  If you hate trying to play midrange, build a complex board state, and then get it all thrown away by a single control card or die randomly to storm or craterhoof, then give pauper a try.  Control card, combos, and way more (conditional) wraths than most people realize exist, but they have much more rational limitations and power.  So, that's the basic, and I hope you'll keep reading to try out a healthy format where anything is possible, and you don't have to take a mortgage out on your house to play.